“Avengers” fans hoping to see one of the team’s most iconic villains in a Marvel Studios movie had better brace themselves for this news: Kang the Conqueror’s film rights are owned by 20th Century Fox, meaning he won’t be showing up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon.
The news broke as part of a Facebook question and answer session held by “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn. When asked if the time-traveling menace known as Kang would ever go head-to-head with Star-Lord and his pals, Gunn replied, “Shi’ar and Kang are both owned by Fox. All decisions about who is in GotG2 were made a long time ago.”
Kang is a time-traveling tyrant possessed of an arsenal filled with weapons and tech from the 40th century that grants him the ability to take on Earth’s mightiest heroes without breaking a sweat. He’s traveled back to modern day Earth at a number of different points in his life, which has led to him being known as Rama-Tut, Kang, Immortus and Iron Lad.
This movie rights development throws another curve-ball at those trying to figure out which characters belong to each movie studio. The Shi’ar are owned by Fox, as Gunn revealed, which makes sense considering the fact that they are part of the X-Men family. They debuted in the pages of “Uncanny X-Men” and have mostly dealt with the mutants in their almost forty year history. Kang, on the other hand, has primarily been an Avengers villain and debuted in 1964’s “Avengers” #8. Kang’s time-traveling nature confuses matters even more, since Rama-Tut debuted in the pages of “Fantastic Four”; his other two identities — Immortus and Iron Lad — debuted in “Avengers” comics.
When determining where rights fall, it’s been a commonly held belief that they are determined by the series/franchise a character debuted in. This theory has been put the test a lot recently, as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” additions Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch both debuted in “X-Men” and “Daredevil” villain Kingpin debuted in “Amazing Spider-Man.” Black Panther and the Inhumans, characters with Marvel Studios films slated for release, also debuted in the pages of “Fantastic Four,” as did “Guardians of the Galaxy” villain Ronan the Accuser. How Avengers foe Kang the Conqueror ended up at Fox is yet the latest in a long line of movie rights mysteries.
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